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hevron C omega phi alpha national service sorority •

vol. 46



From the president


Chevron Corner... by Heather Pritchard (Nu), National President

The Chevron is a quarterly newsletter produced for Omega Phi Alpha, National Service Sorority alumnae and active sisters.

Hello all!

National Executive Board Members President Heather Pritchard VP Business Operations Kasey Stevens VP Programs Brittany Thornton VP Communications Lynn Andrews VP Finance Leann Williams VP Expansions Jessica Toms VP Chapter Support Trista Guzman VP Alumnae Relations Ginger McGarity VP Administration Nichole Barton VP Advancement Planning Pamela McEwen VP Membership Megan Johnston Past President Andie Bowman Hixson

Chevron Editors Chevron Editor Lynn Andrews Chevron Editor Tessa Duvall Layout Editor Shelley Lai

Distribution The Chevron is mailed out four times a year to all alumnae and active OPA chapters. Distribution dates are as follows: October 1, January 1, April 1, and July 1.

Submissions Articles for the Chevron are written by active sisters and alumnae. If you would like to submit a feature story about an alumnae or a special project happening at your chapter, please email it to: Pictures may also be submitted in jpg format.

National Office Mailing Address Omega Phi Alpha National Office PO Box 955 East Lyme, CT 06333

Official National Website

Complete Sorority Contact List To request a complete contact list of all sorority officers, appointments, and chapter addresses, please contact the National VP Administration: Nichole Barton

Winter 2014

It’s hard to believe that a new year is already upon us! I hope that 2014 brings you all much peace, joy and happiness. For President’s Project, I am so thrilled to see all of the events that our chapters have conducted this year that demonstrate the importance of STEM. From holding science fairs at local schools to raising funds to send girls to technology camps, the focus has raised awareness in many creative ways. One of the reasons I picked this project is because every one can participate at any level — mentoring a young woman in your life is just as impactful as volunteering at a science fair. I have also been so impressed with learning the number of STEM women we have in OPA. I knew this project would have a lot of personal meaning, but I had no idea that so many of our members are women in STEM, as well. Many plans are underway as we embark upon 2014. The National Board will be attending mid-year meetings in a few weeks where we will continue progress on Vision 2015 goals. Final details for National Convention are in the works, and if you have not heard, Convention 2014 will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana from July 16th to 20th. During Convention, the National Leadership Program will be officially launched so sisters will be able to earn credits toward leadership program completion by attending Convention workshops. Additionally, NEB elections will be held for Vice President of Communications, Vice President of Chapter Support, Vice President of Expansions, and Vice President of Administration, all of which serve 3-year terms. If you are interested in one of these offices, or interested in serving on a smaller scale, contact Nichole Barton at for more information.  Lastly, I want to thank everyone who offers her time, input and support to OPA. The valuable feedback provided by our members clearly expressed the need to return to a Wednesday-Sunday Convention schedule. With a regular schedule this year, we plan to include a hands-on service project and more organized social activities in the evenings. As with this past year, we’ll have the Alumnae Luncheon and Society Induction on Saturday, and hold the Awards Brunch Sunday morning. Even if you can only come for the weekend, we’d love to see you in Indy this July.  So with that, go out, do great things, and make OPhiA proud.  OPA love, Heather Pritchard National President

Fellowship Inspired by the Gridiron by Lynn Andrews (Omicron), VP Communications


0 – 9 – 8 – 7 – 6,” counts the crowd on their feet with

and bonfires to prepare for the battle, building floats and participating

anticipation, “…5 – 4 – 3 – 2 -1!” Even over the band,

in homecoming parades, painting each other’s faces to be dressed for

cheering escalates, jumping and screaming echoing

the part, tailgating before the game, and sitting together to witness the

through the air, as the crowd goes WILD! With a ticking clock some

unbelievable miracle of a Hail Mary Pass with seconds left on the clock to

consider even more celebratory than New Years — it isn’t the crystal ball

capture the win. That is priceless… and creates unforgettable stories to

dropping at Times Square... its the celebration of victory on the gridiron.

recollect, and further inspires partaking in celebratory traditions such as

A place where miracles are made and hearts defeated. Moments of

Rolling Toomer’s Corner, ringing the Victory Bell, or painting the “Rock”.

true character defined. Frames of life captured in eternal glory and heightened to mythical grandeur.

Sharing in moments that garnish laughter or tears defines sisterhood. Simply put… when it comes to the gridiron, bonds are forged that will

For some this may spark no interest, but for the sisters who attend

never be broken. And this year has been no exception in the final race

certain universities, it is the foundation for university pride, carrying on

to the BCS National Championship. True sportsmanship is tested when

great traditions, and being part of a legacy. We often speak of OPhiA

your team must defeat that of your sister’s for the chance at the National

traditions, yet rarely do we juxtapose the local heritage of each OPhiA

Title. (War Eagle!)

chapter that intertwines into our sisterhood. The parallels are uncanny, yielding more in common than one would imagine.

How will you be celebrating New Year ‘s Day? For many OPA sisters, they will hopefully be cheering their team on to victory one more time.

Humorist Glasow stated, “In life as in football, you won’t go far unless

Omega Phi Alpha has eleven chapters and even one colony that are

you know where the goalposts are.” As with Omega Phi Alpha each

playing in the Bowl Season. Rather impressive. And for one chapter, even

member brings forth unique assets, skills and talents; however, it takes

more is at stake - the chance to claim the National Championship. Sisters

the entire team to go the distance, make the play and achieve the goal.

of Omicron are praying their beloved Auburn Tigers can finish the Season

School spirit demonstrates pride in ones university, the sense of belonging

of Destiny with a victory in Pasadena.

and being a part of something bigger than oneself. Mascots come alive

With almost half of OPhiA chapters competing in bowl games,

to personify and embody that enthusiasm. The team effort whether you

predictions for fellowship and sisterly bonding are surely in the future. As

are on the field or in the stands, evokes optimism, confidence and a

we look back upon 2013, it has been an exemplary season for Omega

persevering strength that together you can achieve your goal.

Phi Alpha members, both on and off the field. Congratulations sisters,

With justification, some of the best college memories and times of fellowship have been inspired by the gridiron. Game Day has provided

for your accomplishments. May 2014 bring many victories to you all. Go, Team, Go!

numerous opportunities for OPhiA sisterhood — attending pep rallies

Congratulations to the NCAA TOP 25 and 2013 Bowl Contenders # 2 Auburn Tigers (Omicron) / 12 - 1, SEC # 9 South Carolina Gamecocks (Chi) / 10 – 2, SEC # 13 Oklahoma State Cowboys (Alpha Gamma) / 10 – 2, Big 12 # 14 Arizona State Sun Devils (Phi) / 10-3, Pac-12 # 15 UCF Knights (Central Florida Colony) / 11-1, American # 21 Texas A&M Aggies (Delta) / 8-4, SEC

Bowling Green Falcons (Alpha) / 10-3, Mid-Atlantic MAC Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (Nu) / 7-5, ACC Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (Upsilon) / 8-4, Sun Belt Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (Mu) / 8-4, C-USA Ole Miss Rebels (Alpha Beta) / 7 – 5, SEC Texas Longhorns (Tau) / 8-4, Big 12 Winter 2014


national news

Growth in the Sunshine State by Jessica Toms (Phi), VP Expansions


mega Phi Alpha continues to grow in the Sunshine State now with roots planted at the University of Florida in Gainesville. On October 25th Florida Colony welcomed 25 young women eager to delve into service. They immediately started working on their colonization requirements. The day after they became an official colony, they volunteered at a fundraiser for the Lubee Bat Conservatory. For their second service project a speaker from STRIVE came to speak to the group about issues surrounding violence, sexual assault, and bullying. And they have already begun studying OPhiA’s history and taking their colony quizzes. Welcome, Florida Colony!

The University of Central Florida Colony continued work towards the completion of

Florida Colonists eager to delve into service and sisterhood.

their colonization requirements. A Petition for Charter will follow shortly and with much anticipation a 2014 induction. Look for more information regarding upcoming events for Central Florida Colony.

If you live in central or northern Florida, and would like to support either colony, please contact the VP of Expansions, at

LEAD Team Prepares for Launch by Brittany Thornton (Alpha Kappa), VP of Programs


ast year, former VP of Programs Kasey Stevens announced the undertaking and creation of a comprehensive Leadership Development Program that would be beneficial to all members, active and alumnae. The concept derived from the Vision 2015 Strategic Plan, which revealed the opportunity to more directly prepare members for leadership roles and additionally improve life skills that are also essential in the workplace.

After much research and planning, the implementation of the Leadership Development Program is finally underway. To oversee the program, Amanda Lowry (Nu), was appointed to be the National Leadership Program Director. Under Lowry’s direction, a LEAD Team of seven sisters has been appointed to assist with the execution of the program. The LEAD Team members will function as a committee with Jan Titsworth (Delta) currently serving as its chair. Winter 2014

Each of these seven dedicated sisters has various levels of experience and expertise in leadership programs and development. They have been tasked with creating what will be six individual modules, which will make up the Leadership Academy’s curriculum. Every active or alumna sister is encouraged to complete the Leadership Academy and become certified in the six focus areas. Leadership is the first module and will be the prerequisite to the remaining five modules. After completion of Leadership, sisters can then complete Sisterhood, Diversity, Education, and Traditions in any order they choose. The Academy will conclude with Service, which will require attendance to National Convention to participate and complete the final module. The Leadership Development Program is quite an accomplishment and a very exciting endeavor — and not just for the

National Executive Board. The goal of the program is to provide an opportunity to educate OPA members on subjects like leadership and other important life skills in order to make each individual who completes the Leadership Academy have an edge above the rest and stand out from others - whether in the workforce or volunteering in the community. Membership in Omega Phi Alpha and the service that we provide in our communities and for the rest of the world is something that already sets us apart. The Leadership Program will simply serve as another aspect to strengthen your skill set; it will be worthwhile to include on your resume and be a great asset no matter what your endeavors may be. VP of Programs Brittany Thornton eagerly awaits the opportunity to present the completed modules of the Leadership Program in Indianapolis during Convention 2014.

national news


Summits Achieve New Heights by Trista Guzman (Phi), VP of Chapter Support


ince the creation of District Summits in Fall 2013, a new importance has been placed on utilizing this platform to improve leadership training, perform service projects on a District level, and build stronger relationships among OPA chapters. The introduction of the Leadership Academy also plays a pivotal role since active and alumnae members will be able to complete Leadership Development Program modules during District Summits. Two districts, Founding and Heartland, kicked-off the year with their Summits during fall semester. Christina Gerdeman, Alpha Chapter ADO, on Founding District’s Summit: Summit was a success not only in my eyes but also the 36 wonderful women that attended. It was great to see the girls from Alpha and Gamma socialize and create special bonds with each other. The participation and energy was unbelievably awesome making this an amazing experience for both chapters.

With all the events that weekend, including raking leaves for Camp Palmer and doing a photo scavenger hunt, the time allowed to become better acquainted had to be the most impactful for everyone. It gave sisters the time to really learn about each other and how each chapter lives out their OPA values. Overall, it was an amazing weekend with time of learning and creating lifelong relationships that will forever be cherished. Megan Phillips, Heartland District TLC, on Heartland District’s Summit: A great time was had by all of the Alpha Gamma and Alpha Kappa sisters who attended the Heartland District Summit. Sisters were able to bond during icebreakers and a wonderful service project, as well as late night talks in the Alpha Kappa’s sister’s houses. I led workshops on sisterly love, social media etiquette, and leadership. All topics were well received and I believe will be very helpful to both chapters. So many laughs were shared and numerous

memories were made that it was hard to say goodbye when time to leave. Everyone is looking forward to the next District Summit. District Summit Dates for Spring 2014 Below are known dates and locations. Although this year Summit is not required to be an overnight affair, it is highly encouraged. •Azalea District: February 22-23 at Alpha Delta • Bluegrass District: April 12 at Mu • Carolina District: February 15 (with optional overnight) at Alpha Lambda • Cactus-Pine District: Date TBD at Phi • Cajun Country District: Date/Location TBD • Liberty District: April 5 at TBD • Lonestar District: March 29-30 at Psi For more information on District Summit, email Alexa Tavasci at summit@ Updates will also be made on Ophia’s Facebook page.

Career Development Director Appointed by Brittany Thornton (Alpha Kappa), VP of Programs


ith the development of the OPA Leadership Academy, a new position has been created that will provide valuable resources to OPA members. The goal of Career Development Director, is to aid OPA sisters with the necessary skills required during various stages of their careers, such as resume writing, job searching, interviewing techniques and networking. This position was created to impart direct support to OPA members. The Career Development Director will offer webinars and workshops to assist members in career development, provide services to review and offer editing suggestions for resumes and cover letters, as well as, answer specific questions that may arise during job searches.

Career Development Director Mechelle Roberthon

To offer encouragement, OPA members can collaborate, ask questions, share ideas, and connect on the OPA Career Development Facebook page. Learn of events, request a specific webinar topic or ask for advice at OPA’s first Career Development Director

is Mechelle Roberthon. She works as an employment specialist where she assists people with finding a job. As a career-ready instructor, she teaches various career and professional development skills to students pursuing their GEDs. She also serves as a member-at-large for the Louisiana Career Development Association, focusing on topics such as resume writing, interviewing techniques, networking, job search strategies, and career exploration. Roberthon is an alumna of Upsilon Chapter and is a member of the Omega Theta Alumnae Chapter in Lafayette, Louisiana. Omega Phi Alpha welcomes Mechelle Roberthon, who is excited to utilize her skills and begin serving as Career Development Director. Winter 2014


National News

Rho Celebrates 20 Years on WKU Campus by Rachel Grindstaff (Rho)

On November 23, Rho actives and alumnae attended the 20th Anniversary celebration, which paid tribute to the Rho’s Founding Members: Jennifer Abrams, Catrice Dillingham Johnson, Nancy Green, Lisa Ishee, Ann Johnson Rawls, Leanne Kirby Kinyon, Beth Kitchens Bushway, Patricia Longsdon Lynd, Carrie Martin, Cindy Morgan, Darby Jo Price, Rebecca See, Kate Shelton and Beth Vaughn Boston.


his fall Rho Chapter of Western Kentucky University marked a major milestone: its 20th anniversary of friendship, leadership and service. On Saturday, November 23rd, members of Rho Chapter celebrated the occasion with a reception to honor their anniversary. Alumnae, actives and new members alike gathered to share their fondest O-Phi-A memories and experiences. During this time, sisters reflected on the growth of the chapter and the impact made on their campus. Rho sisters looked through old scrapbooks, took pictures in a photo booth, wrapped Operation Christmas Child boxes and heard from several women about their experiences as an OPA sister. One speech in particular stood out as very special on this day of celebration. Ann Johnson Rawls, who was among the founding mothers in 1993, sent a letter to be read in her absence. Her words of encouragement and praise deeply inspired Rho sisters. She reflected on her experiences as a founder and discussed all the different service projects and obstacles that it took

Winter 2014

to become Rho Chapter on WKU’s campus. Her story was inspiring, and despite all the adversities these women faced, they were committed to making it happen and refused to give up on their vision. After much persistence, hard work and dedication, fourteen young women earned the right to be called sisters, as they were inducted as Rho Chapter of Omega Phi Alpha National Service Sorority on December 4, 1993. What started out as six girls has grown into a group of over 100 today. OPA is now a wellknown organization throughout campus, and it is amazing to see how far the chapter has come in just 20 years. Since 1993, Rho chapter has not only grown in membership, but also service. Ann mentioned in her letter, “My fellow founders and I became tightly bonded together though all the service hours that we completed. In the end we did obtain our charter, and the rest is history.” The same can be said about Rho chapter today continuing their strength of sisterhood through service. Active Rachel Grindstaff said, “Knowing

our history truly makes us appreciate the founding women that worked incredibly hard to make OPA what it is today on WKU’s campus. I believe OPA will only continue to grow on the campus of Western Kentucky. Serving others is so important and we will continue to set an example for those around us.” Rho still dedicates many hours to serving others, including yearly service traditions, such as participating in Relay for Life and the annual head-shaving event for the St. Baldricks Foundation. Sisters relished on how their chapter’s journey has been inspiring to rediscover as they celebrated 20 years. The growth of Rho chapter is astounding, clearly demonstrating their commitment and growth in all three principles: friendship, leadership, and service. It is undeniable that the founding members of Rho chapter possessed all of these qualities and passed them on throughout the years. It was humbling to reflect back on the commitment this sisterhood has demonstrated on the WKU campus. Amazing to think what Rho Chapter will accomplish in another 20 years.

National News


Preserving the Legacy of Omega Phi Alpha by Pamela McEwen (Epsilon), VP Advancement Planning OPA Establishes Giving Program

become a Friend of Ophia. It is a way for

celebration that OPA has ever seen – but to

Like other non-profit organizations, a strong

actives and alumnae to support the sorority’s

achieve this, we will need your help.

financial foundation is imperative for Omega

mission and vision, beyond their day-to-day

Plans include many elements to pay tribute

Phi Alpha to grow and prosper. OPA would

contributions to their chapter, school, and in

to the women who set the cornerstone for

not be the thriving service organization it is

their community. Sisters are encouraged to be

OPA’s prosperity:

today without leadership, vision and the

a Friend of Ophia every year.

•V  ideo Tribute, Historical Document and

the celebration of 50 years of friendship,


•O  pening the 25th Anniversary time

leadership and service, it deemed the most

The Chevron Society offers multiple giving levels

opportune time to acknowledge the need for

to accommodate any financial contribution.

a proper Giving Program.

The Chevron Society supports the day-to-day

Photo Gallery, Keepsake Book

loyal support of its members. As we near

capsule • Collecting and dedicating the 50th Anniversary time capsule

As a member, giving to Omega Phi Alpha

operating expenses of the sorority, providing

ensures our legacy of service initiatives will

the much-needed revenue for chapter services,

continue within the six areas of service: the

training materials, publications, membership

University Community,

records and operating funds for the National

event where everyone can participate, to


accomplish this; we need your financial



Large, the Members of the Sorority, and the

•A  nd many more surprises that honor and recognize OPA achievements Our







Nations of the World, the National Permanent

The Chevron Society consists of seven Donor

support. Please consider making a donation

Project, and the National President’s Project.

Levels that offer something for everyone,

to the 50th Anniversary Campaign to ensure a

Your support also increases the awareness

starting with a Friendship Gift up to $100 to

truly magnificent occasion, and declare OPA’s

of our organization in the communities we

the highest Pearl Level of $5000 and up.

heritage will celebrate another 50 years.

contribution serves as a commitment to living a



service-minded life.

serve, as well as to potential members. Your The National Office Endowment provides

For those wanting to make a donation, please

On behalf of the NEB, Pamela McEwen,

long-term benefits for the Sorority. This

visit our website donation page at www.

VP Advancement Planning, is pleased to an-

is accomplished by utilizing the income or send a check payable

nounce the Omega Phi Alpha Giving Program

earned from investments for leasing space,

to Omega Phi Alpha, indicate in the memo

has been developed and will officially launch

staffing and equipping a national office.

line which program your contribution supports.

in 2014.

Acquiring a National Office for Omega Phi

Mail to: Omega Phi Alpha, National Office -

The Giving Program offers members numer-

Alpha in essential to our growth and further

PO Box 955 - East Lyme, CT 34655.

ous ways to support OPA through one-time

development. When we are prepared, funds

donations or pledging annually, as well as,

may be made available for the down payment


by contributing to specific campaigns such

on our own office space.

Omega Phi Alpha wishes to thank our faithful

as the 50th Anniversary and National Office Endowment.






donors for their generous contributions. Your

supported through direct gifts and planned

continued support and donations are helping

Becoming a donor is essential to building

gifts, which ensures that OPA will be able to

sustain the initiatives and improve the lives of

on the legacy you created for your chapter.

provide support to the sorority and its members

those who benefit from the dedication of our

Active sisters are continuing to build on the

across the nation for generations to come.

members’ service. We are grateful for your commitment, which extends our mission and

great foundation left by alumnae. Without the strong leadership and support of the sisters


who went before them, the legacy of Omega

With much enthusiasm, Omega Phi Alpha’s

Phi Alpha would not be available for future

50th Anniversary is on the horizon. It is a

generations. With your financial support,

great privilege to acknowledge OPA’s rich

If you are interested in learning more about OPA’s

OPA’s legacy will continue and journey toward

history, which includes more than half-a-million

Giving Program, please email Pamela McEwen

even greater things.

service hours within our communities and the


purpose of improving the lives of

thousands of women who dedicated their lives

Additional information will be coming soon


to service. For this occasion, planning has

that explains in more detail the benefits and


begun for our 50th Anniversary Celebration in

various ways in which a member can financially

Sisters making a gift of $5 dollars annually

Summer 2017. We hope to have the grandest

support and contribute to OPA’s Giving Program.

Winter 2014


Service Accolades

Trip Around the World of Science by Lynn Andrews (Omicron), VP Communications


hen it came time to plan a STEM President’s Project, Omicron delved right in and surfaced with what became their most elaborate and successful event. Members of Omicron created “Junior Mad Scientist 2013: A Family Trip Around the World of Science”. Planning the experiments and coordinating the necessary supplies was a huge undertaking. Junior Mad Scientist was one gigantic snowball. A sister had the idea of a reverse science fair, as well as, a science badge day for local Girl Scouts. Omicron’s Service Director, Chelsea Crawford, said after meeting the GWIS president, “I realized that we had an opportunity to help an under-served group, the children of faculty and specifically the children of graduate students. The College of Science and Math’s Outreach Department gave us a lot of direction in planning events that are specifically science-based. Omicron partnered with university organizations, Graduate Women in Science (GWIS) and Women in Science and Education (WISE) to assist with the implementation. Katie Brown, a member of Omicron’s Service Committee and an active member of WISE, arranged for the meeting. The faculty advisor for both GWIS and WISE expressed that her vision for women in STEM fields is that they should be able to both look up and see someone wiling to help them achieve their goals and look down to see someone whose scientific aspirations they can help realize. The Junior Mad Scientist event did just that ‑ partnering with GWIS allowed OPA undergraduates in STEM majors to work alongside graduate women in their disciplines.   On November 4th, Junior Mad Scientist kicked-off with registration at 5:00 PM and followed with an open house where families could come between 5:30 – 7:30 PM. JMS featured booths in varying science and engineering fields. Each booth had an experiment where Omicron members, along with Auburn graduate Winter 2014

During “A Trip Around the World of Science”, Junior Mad Scientist participants visit booths with science experiments and demonstrations by Omicron sisters and alumnae graduate students in science.

student women, taught the “Junior Mad Scientists” about their chosen field in exciting, hands-on ways. Participants were given “passports” to collect stamps during their “Trip Around the World of Science”. There were 19 booths total, which included topics and experiments such as cellular anatomy, chemical engineering, neuroscience/ cognitive psychology, food science, calorimetry, and basic zoology. Upon completion of eight experiments, participants were entered into a drawing for door prizes, which included t-shirts, rock candy making kits, and small educational toys. The STEM project benefited children of the Auburn-Opelika area between the grades of K4 and 5th grade. Excellent promotion assisted with the success of the event. Junior Mad Scientist was featured in the Auburn-Opelika News’ Community Happenings section. A flier was created by Caroline Ludirdja, which was used for publicity and t-shirts. The fliers were given to students of Omicron alumnae who teach

in local elementary schools, as well as, to Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts troops. An email was also sent to past participants of the university’s science-based summer outreach programs. After the event Dana Sizemore (Chapter Treasurer) said, “JMS was more extensive than any project we’ve done. It’s also the most successful event we have had. Everyone, from the children and parents that came out to the sisters who helped coordinate the event, had the best time interacting with one another and learning along the way.” Parents expressed their gratitude and appreciation for Omicron’s efforts, saying “This was such an excellent program for my little girls, who got to see real women doing science while making it fun.” Another parent stated, “Junior Mad Scientist blew my mind - the fact that you had alternatives for my two kids, who are gluten and dairyfree, goes above and beyond. It’s nice that they were able to participate as every other child.”

Service Accolades

Omicron was overwhelmed with the praise received for offering these programs for their budding scientists. When asked about the success, Service Director, Crawford said, “I think collaborating with GWIS and WISE let us execute a much bigger project than we could have done otherwise. Aside from that, it was having an amazing service committee and sisters who are willing to do whatever it takes

to make a project come to fruition.” Several sisters even dressed up as famous female scientists. It’s important to determine how each sister fits into the big picture of a project in the most impactful way. Kylie Webb, Chapter Vice President, said, “Omicron loves giving back to the community, especially together! We work on team building during chapter and at retreats, so that we can better serve


as unified sisters.” The motivation and exemplary planning that went into Omicron’s project truly demonstrated the unified efforts, the importance of STEM, and empowering not just the JMS participants, but also every individual who benefited from the collaborative effort of the event. Well done, Omicron!

Season of Giving Lends Aid to Hungry by Lynn Andrews (Omicron), VP Communications


or many the holiday season brings alive the zeal of volunteerism and is a reflection of the human spirit. Whether adopting families on Angel Trees, providing meals for the homeless, or serving at a Salvation Army Christmas Center, there are abundant ways to foster a Season of Giving. For three Phi alumnae, they were inspired to carry on a tradition of their own to capture the spirit.

The seed was planted for Gini Jackson, Crystal Constance and Lauren Lenoski, when they first visited the Feed My Starving Children center in Tempe, AR with Phi Chapter. What started as an active project, developed into a tradition. Phi alumnae have returned to volunteer on several occasions, most recently in December to help pack more food for starving kids all over the world. In an hour and a half, with approximately 50 people, they packed enough food to feed 39 kids for an entire year. “You walk away knowing that you are directly affecting the lives of children in need throughout the world”, said Crystal Constance. FMSC is a non-profit organization whose vision
states, “With God’s help Feed My Starving Children will strive to eliminate starvation in children throughout the world by helping to instill compassion in people to hear and respond to the cries of

those in need.” And that is exactly what Lauren Lenoski believes, “We volunteer at FMSC because it allows us to have an impact on families all over the world. We do something locally while helping people globally.  We enjoy getting to share the experience with others which is why we have brought friends, co-workers, and children with us.” Working together in an assembly line, FMSC volunteers hand-pack meals, formulated for malnourished children, packing between 15-25 boxes of food in an hour and a half session. These food boxes are shipped to hungry children in nearly 70 countries around the world. FMSC is a great organization where anyone can get involved especially if time is limited. Gini Jackson said, “I love the atmosphere when you’re there: everyone is working together, singing, and shouting out with every box completed.  Seeing the transformation of the children who  receive  the food packs is also incredible. These kids are skin and bones, barely alive, and after a few weeks of nourishment, a smiling, happy child is revealed.“   Turning Hunger into Hope with Your Own Two Hands is exactly what these Phi Alumnae did to welcome the Season of Giving.

Phi Alumnae Volunteering at FMSC: Lauren Lenoski packs boxes with child from her church group; Gini Jackson and Crystal Constance pose for picture; and Crystal Constance in assembly line hand-packing meals.

Winter 2014




he count down is ON to “The Crossroads of America”. Convention 2014 will be held July 16 – 20 at the Hilton Indianapolis Downtown. National Convention is a great time to explore a new city while reconnecting with sisters. Each year, active and alumnae members from all over the nation travel to Convention to voice their opinion on OPA matters, attend training workshops, participate in sisterhood activities, elect new National Executive Board officers,

and celebrate the hard work of our sisters over the past year. Collegiate chapters should each send two active delegates to Convention. Each delegate will receive 50% travel reimbursement. Alumnae regions are represented at Convention by Alumnae Delegates, of which each receives 50% travel reimbursement. Candidates for national office receive 50% travel reimbursement to attend, if

their petition for office is filed 21 days in advance of Convention. Registration for Convention 2014 will be available starting on March 1. A full schedule of events will be also distributed at that time. The race is on to see who will be at convention and who will take home the awards. Drivers prep your engines… and get ready to make your way to Convention 2014 in Indy!

Win Your Trip to Convention Win an all-expense paid trip to our national Convention by entering (and winning) the Alumnae Convention Raffle.   All proceeds benefit the National Scholarship Trust so it is an excellent way to support OPA and its members. Alumnae Convention Raffle Whether you want to serve as an alumna delegate or simply want to attend Convention to see all your friends, all alumnae sisters are eligible to participate in our annual Alumnae Convention Raffle. The winner of this raffle will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Convention: transportation, lodging (at the double rate) and registration. Total value of $800! If the winner cannot go to Convention, she can transfer her prize to any alumnae sister. If she wishes to upgrade her room to a single (perhaps to bring a spouse or other family member along), she simply pays the difference in the room rate.

Winter 2014

To enter the Alumnae Raffle, complete the entry form and mail with your donation of $25 or more to the National Scholarship Fund. Every $25 increment gives you a ticket to the raffle, so $100 will give four

chances, $200 will give eight chances. Entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2014. Winner will be announced by April 1.



National Executive Board Seeks Talented Sisters O

mega Phi Alpha provides many opportunities to utilize your strength, expertise and talents. A variety of positions, whether serving on the National Board or in an appointed role, need to be filled every year. Consider being a part of Omega Phi Alpha’s leadership team.

At Convention 2014, four National Executive Board positions will be elected by the Convention delegation. NEB positions are volunteer roles. Any active or alumna member in good standing with Omega Phi Alpha can run for national office; however, all candidates must have been a member for at least one year before running for office. Each term lasts for three years (summer 2014 – summer 2017). The minimum commitment is 5 hours per week, with additional work during peak times depending on the position. All NEB members must: submit monthly reports to the National President, vote in online motions and participate in online discussions month, and attend Fall and Midyear meetings, in addition to National Convention. Interested in being more involved or part of the strategic planning of OPA? Then consider running for one of the following NEB positions. VP of Communications • Coordinate the layout, printing, and mailing of national documents and publications • Familiarity with web design, layout, and updating procedures • Present a consistent and professional image of OPA in all publicity and external communications • Serve as liaison with vendors providing services for OPA • Accessibility to correspond with members via email and social media VP of Chapter Support • Appoint, supervise, and train the Traveling Leadership Consultants and the Chapter Alumnae Advisors • Oversee and provide materials for district summits • Oversee chapter health initiatives and create Chapter Assistance Plans for chapters that need aid VP of Expansions • Develop and refine a long-term expansions strategy for the sorority • Pursue expansions opportunities and guide colonies through completion of colonization requirements • Coordinate colonization events, including the colonization retreat and induction ceremony • Represent the organization in communication with university officials VP of Administration • Recording of minutes at all meetings and conventions • Direct and oversee national appointments • Responsible for correspondence within the sorority • Present the slate of officers for election at the National Convention • Head the nominating committee • Oversee the national database If you are interested in running for an NEB position, please contact the Nomination Committee at, or visit the national website for a petition for office. Questions about a specific role can be directed to the NEB member currently in that position.

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Cast Your Vote As An Alumnae Delegate Members from all over the country will be traveling to Indianapolis, IN for Omega Phi Alpha’s National Convention 2014. The best way to really immerse your self at Convention is to represent your alumnae sisters by serving as an Alumnae Voting Delegate. The Role of Alumnae at Our National Convention is imperative for several reasons. You have the opportunity to share your wisdom and experience while shaping new OPA policy and direction; mentor and offer advice to active sisters and colonists; and most importantly, represent alumnae sisters in Indianapolis and play a pivotal role in policy decisions, approving the budget and electing national leaders. In appreciation for this service, alumnae delegates are reimbursed half of their transportation expenses to attend convention. You must be able to attend the entire convention

Alumnae Delegate Ana Jabkowski during Convention 2013.

July 16 – July 20. National reimburses half of your travel expenses, per the national travel policy.  Application deadline is March 15. For more information about this role or to apply, please email VP Alumnae Relations Ginger McGarity at alumnae@ for an application.

Digging For Diamonds Tradition Continues by Ginger McGarity (Delta/Nu), VP of Alumnae Relations


ollowing on the success of the premier 2013 Digging For Diamonds event held in central Texas, the Founding District has graciously offered to host this year’s D4D event. Digging for Diamonds 2014 will take place in picturesque Perrysburg, OH the weekend of February 22. All alumnae, actives, colonists, and pledges are invited to attend and partake in the festivities. The D4D weekend offers tribute and is a celebration of how Omega Phi Alpha principles have influenced the lives of our sisters through out the years. Most of the activities will be scheduled on Saturday, starting early and ending late, so all are encouraged to come for the entire weekend. Members will partake in a service project together, have the opportunity

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to learn what the Founding District collegiate chapters, Alpha and Gamma, have been up to, share in fellowship during meals, and potentially even make a quick trip to the O Phi A archives in Bowling Green. Saturday night will culminate with the induction of our newest members into the Alumnae Society. Perrysburg’s annual Winter Festival will be going on that weekend, and we’ll take full advantage of that, too! Registration, hotel accommodations and all event information will be distributed in an email by end of January. Interested in Volunteering? We are currently seeking generational hostesses from both Alpha and Gamma Chapters to represent each of the following decades:

Alpha Chapter – 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s Gamma Chapter – 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s If you were active during one of these periods and would like to participate by welcoming the sisters from your era, please contact Ginger McGarity (alum right away to volunteer. The hostesses will be involved in making the weekend memorable for all. For more information regarding Digging for Diamonds 2014, please contact Suzy McTaggart, alumsocieties@omega


ALPHA Chapter Bowling Green State University

Czech Republic studying abroad, as well as, a plethora of other projects. On December 7, we activated our largest pledge class of 18 women. To celebrate we took a trip to Frakenmuth, MI where we all went on a scavenger hunt through Bronner’s (the largest Christmas store in the world) and enjoyed the beautiful, festive city as we bonded together as sisters.  

DELTA Chapter Texas A&M University Alpha sisters ready for some BGSU football. The Alpha Chapter has been volunteering in numerous service projects, enjoying sisterhood, and getting to know our new members. We had 22 wonderful women join our Chapter, which is one of the largest pledge classes we have ever had. They have been learning about OPA’s history and planning events such as a bake-sale, a campus clean-up, and baking cookies for the sisters. For service, we have made wonderful dinners for the Ronald McDonald House, we wrote letters of encouragement to sisters who are on study abroad trips, and we have helped with children’s events at Crim Elementary. We are participating in BGSU’s Relay For Life event, where we have several sisters walking for 12 hours straight! District Summit with Gamma Chapter was a huge success. It was held at Camp Palmer, a campground about an hour from Bowling Green. Sisters participated in a workshop focusing on communication, raked leaves and cleaned up the campground as a service event, held a scavenger hunt, and enjoyed getting to know each other. It was a great way to bond with Gamma sisters lots of lasting friendships were created. For sisterhood, we have enjoyed game nights, making vision boards, and other activities. We will be having a Sober Sister event involving a potluck and talent show, as well as a Disneythemed murder mystery dinner, which should be very exciting. Alpha Chapter had quite an eventful and wonderful semester and are thrilled to be welcoming so many fantastic women to our chapter.

Gamma Chapter Eastern Michigan University From a host of service projects to activating our pledges, it’s been a great semester for Gamma. Some of our projects included, Fundraising for Girlstart (an organization that directs young girls to study STEM), Breast Cancer Walk at Washtenaw Community College, Trick or Treat for UNICEF, volunteering/mentoring at an elementary school in Detroit, making hot chocolate packages for university students, holiday cards for every campus organizations, and Operation Care Package where we made holiday stockings for the soldiers. We also made an OPA care package for one of our sisters that is currently in the

Delta Chapter has had such an exciting semester. After a successful rush, Delta welcomed 31 amazing girls to the Gamma Mu pledge class. This is Delta’s largest pledge class ever! The pledge class completed many incredible projects. They created finals care packages for students across the Texas A&M Campus. They participated in Replant It, a community-wide tree planting event. The pledge class’ sisterhood project was a Zumba event. Finally, Delta’s pledge class participated in Project Christmas Child as their nations project. Active members hosted their 2nd raise $1,500 for Nicaraguan families, children, co-ops, and shelters. Delta also continued their tradition of passing out #2 pencils and encouraging notes to students of Texas A&M during finals week. Delta started a new tradition, Adopt-A-Street. Not only does Delta clean up the street, but they also collect box tops for the elementary school that resides on the street. For it’s sisterhood project, Delta cut out and painted wooden Greek letters for the OPA chapters in Texas. Delta also participated in Project Linus and personally delivered blankets to children at nearby hospitals.

Epsilon Chapter Tennessee Technological University

Epsilon sisters volunteer at the Genesis House. Open minds, kind hearts, and ready hands lined up to dip their brushes in the paint cans as we decided to accomplish more than one task that day. It’s not that they needed their fence painted, but they needed a friend, a supporter, and an advocating group to say, “We care”. As we painted the portion of the fence we were allotted to design, we got the chance to get to know the survivors of domestic silence firsthand. For several years we have had the opportunity to work alongside a local domestic violence shelter, Genesis House, Inc., that empowers women of


all ages to not fall victim to harsh violence, offers recovery from past neglect and personal issues, and helps women discover what their true gifts are. To be honest, they have similar goals to our sisterhood, which makes it quite rewarding to help them out as we build a slightly different sisterhood with the residents. As we painted the fence with our handprints, we formed a permanent mark to remind them of OPA’s support. We dashed around the backyard with the children, taped up the interior walls and painted their bedrooms, and spoke openly with clients as if we’ve known each other for years, and most importantly just be friends for the day. Painting wasn’t necessary to serve our local women, what was necessary was our hearts to open and be receptive to their friendship. We got the blessed opportunity to treat them as unique individuals, fence painting happened to be the vessel to accomplish those means. Our chapter wants to continue working with the domestic violence shelter, to show them what sisterhood is about and nurture the friendships that have begun.

MU Chapter Middle Tennessee State University Mu Chapter has been hard at work this semester! First and foremost, we are pleased to say that we have some lovely new pledges that we can’t wait to activate. These girls represent what OPA is about, and we know that they will bring many great qualities to our sisterhood. Mu has also been busy with service events, which include volunteering our time at a local cheer competition and helping out at the Wash Me pink Color Run for Breast Cancer awareness. We have also written letters to Wounded Warriors, participated in, adopted “Alumni Pen Pals”, as well as many other exciting projects. We hosted a “Family Fun Day” where sisters and their families and friends got together for lunch and fall activities such as a cakewalk and painting pumpkins. We are planning a science fair that we will be hosting at a local elementary school, complete with guest judges and prizes for the students. We have also begun planning our spring formal for March, as well as Bluegrass District Summit to be held here at Middle Tennessee this spring. On behalf of Mu, we hope that our fellow sisters have a wonderful and successful new year!

NU Chapter Georgia Institute of Technology Nu chapter is excited to initiate one of the most enthusiastic and hardworking pledge classes we have seen. The 26 lovely girls demonstrated commitment to service through their well planned projects including a can drive, postcards

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to children in Tanzania, and goodie bags to pass out during Halloween. One memorable sisterhood event was our big/little scavenger hunt in which families competed to solve the most clues. As our chapter grows, our service director has had the challenge of organizing enough projects for all of our sisters to participate in. This has proven to be a formidable but feasible task as we have had a large number of fun and fulfilling service events including volunteering at Café 458, MedShare, and an elementary school’s fall festival; all thanks to our hardworking service director. This semester, our chapter really wanted to promote an emphasis on National Service Week. Some of the favorite projects of the week were making “Adopt Me” dog vests for the Humane Society and making goody bags to pass out to the hardworking employees on Georgia Tech’s campus. Our chapter is working very hard to expand our presence on campus. During Georgia Tech’s competitive homecoming week, our chapter participated in as many of the events as possible. After the hard work of all of our sisters, we are proud to announce that we placed first in our division, and one of our sisters, Emily Ard, was a finalist for Ms. GT! During homecoming we also organized a tailgate to welcome all of our alumnae. Recently some of our chapter alumnae sponsored sisters as they volunteered at Oakland Cemetery. Nu chapter is incredibly thankful for the continued support of our alumnae as they have gotten us where we are today.

rho Chapter Western Kentucky University

back from convention, we made some changes for Rho and were excited to implement them fall semester. We’ve already begun to think about Convention 2014 and super excited to attend our Bluegrass District Summit. We have two of our major service events in the first months of spring, St. Baldrick’s and Beauty and the Greek. Rho wishes everyone a successful semester and a Happy New Year!

sigma Chapter University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Sigma chapter completed numerous projects for the semester. Our favorite and most successful project was Feed My Starving Children (FMSC). FMSC is an organization that sends food packs to starving children all over the world, to 70 different countries. Each pack of food has essential vitamins and minerals to nourish the starving children back to health. The organization travels to large cities in the United States for several days at a time and uses hundreds of volunteers to pack as much food as possible before moving on to the next city. The project was a blast, and they even played music to make it even more fun! Our sisters loved this service project, and we will probably be working with this organization in the future. During the two hours that we were there for the project, our sisters helped feed 108 children for an entire year.

Rho Chapter at annual Relay for Life event.

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psi Chapter Texas A&M at Corpus Christi

Sigma packs food boxes for Feed My Starving Children.

chi Chapter University of South Carolina

Rho chapter welcomed 40 new members into our sisterhood. We’re so excited to be expanding our chapter at a time when we’re celebrating our establishment at WKU! December marked our 20th anniversary for Rho at WKU. Our anniversary allowed us to connect with our alumni more, and update their information. This semester has been very productive for Rho. We raised over $250 in 4 hours at our Relay for Life event. We’ve had a great time bonding with our sisters through events such as cleaning up campus, hosting bone marrow drives, playing fruitball (yes baseball with fruit as the ball!), volunteering at the humane society, helping with Super Saturdays on campus and visiting the residents of local nursing homes. After our delegates came

with the ARC of South Carolina, and helping local Girl Scouts earn badges in keeping with Women in STEM – among many others. One of our favorite projects was taking the True Colors Personality Test together as a chapter and learning how to better interact and work with each other as a sisterhood. We had a great time at our sisterhood retreat in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and participating in University of South Carolina Homecoming events.

Chi Chapter “Find Your Way With OPA” Chi chapter got the school year off to a great start with a “Find Your Way With ΩΦΑ” themed rush in early September. The chapter has loved getting to know the thirteen wonderful women of the Alpha Epsilon pledge class, and looks forward to activating them into the sisterhood at the end of the semester. The fall has included many fun service projects, including a partnership with Compassionate Care Hospice, working

Psi Chapter distributes food to the homeless. Psi Chapter participated in Feeding the Homeless, where we made sac lunches of sandwiches, crackers and water. We secured a sponsor to donate water, socks, lip balm and hand sanitizer that we passed out. For a Halloween fundraiser, actives and pledges volunteered at the Lexington’s haunted house, where we raised $330. DIg Pink, an event dedicated to Breast Cancer held by the Islanders volleyball team, had activities before the game for cancer awareness. Psi created a POP Cancer table, where students threw darts at balloons to pop the black balloons, which were “cancer”. Inside popped balloons were facts about cancer. We also made care packages and cards for a sister’s cousin who was re-diagnosed with cancer. We wanted her to know she has the support not only of her family, but of Omega Phi Alpha as well. At Connections Shelter in Portland, TX, we helped children make Dream Boards. The idea was to visually help the children see their goals. A sister who had been in this situation inspired the project. We went back a second time to teach them how to create a meal on a budget. Psi pledges volunteered at a local nursing home where one of the pledge’s mother stays. She is extremely excited for us to meet her mother and show her what OPA . The pledges held a Tie- Dye Fundraiser, where students tie dye shirts for a fee of $5. Activation will be on December 1st. Congratulations to two sisters, Stephanie Ortega who got engaged to Jerrell TruLove, and alumna Lauren Collingsworth who gave birth to a son, Wyatt Steele.


ALPHA ALPHA CHAPTER Northern Arizona University

Alpha Alpha sisters enjoy the fall harvest. Even before school started, the ladies of the Alpha Alpha started planning a number of events in preparation for the Fall semester. Our membership director planned our Recruitment, which will be held the second week of September beginning on the 10th. One of our members took the initiative to share an informative video about shark poaching and what steps can be taken to help spread awareness about the problem. Another project that has been planned is a group exercise program that will allow sisters to cheer each other on as they continue to achieve their fitness goals for the year. Lastly, a couple of our sisters are working closely together to organize an Out of Darkness Awareness Walk, which raises awareness about suicide prevention.

ALPHA GAMMA Chapter Oklahoma State University

Alpha Gamma wins 1st for Homecoming float. Alpha Gamma had our largest rush taking thirty pledges. For Community Project, we took a trip to the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank for their weekly event called Rock N’ Box, where volunteers pack food boxes while a DJ entertains. The girls thoroughly enjoyed jamming out while packing boxes for a great cause. Another exciting event was Oklahoma State’s homecoming celebration with Theta Chi fraternity - we won 1st place and the Grand Marshall award for our parade float, and won 2nd place of all the student organizations. For Permanent Project, we spent time with residents at a nursing home. For President’s Project, we sponsored girls to attend 4H STEM Camp that OSU hosts. We raised over $1,000 selling barbeque at our homecoming booth for Operation Smile. For University Project,


we made goody bags and thank you notes for the Physical Plant and Custodial Services. We love making people feel appreciated! For Sisterhood Project, we did Adopt-A-Colony, where we made rose pens with notes attached to share favorite things of OPA with the colonies. We held Dad’s Day and a Halloween haunted house social in downtown Oklahoma City. In November, AG traveled to KU for District Summit. We love getting to know other sisters and share our love for service. All in all, it was a wonderful semester filled with great opportunities.

ALPHA DELTA CHAPTER Georgia Southern University

Alpha Zeta volunteers at Ronald McDonald house. someone’s day because it is one less thing they have to worry about. The experience taught us all gratitude and to appreciate the little things in life.

ALPHA MU CHAPTER Boston University Alpha Delta teams up to Walk to End Alzheimers. The Alpha Delta chapter of Omega Phi Alpha at Georgia Southern University has had a busy and productive Fall semester. Our Rush theme was “Nation’s Finest Ladies” and we had one of our biggest turnouts ever. We also held a fundraiser for and participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Our chapter is holding it’s first ever Family Day for the families of our wonderful sisters. We are looking forward to our annual date auction and hosting District Rally spring semester. We are currently having our annual Mixed Bag Designs fundraiser! If anyone would like to purchase anything from Mixed Bag Designs they can visit and use the code 46968 so that we can receive 40% of the profits.  This is one of our top grossing fundraisers of the year.

ALPHA ZETA CHAPTER Kennesaw State University Alpha Zeta completed many great projects including City of Refuge, Boo at the Zoo, and making Linus Blankets. However, one project that we always do is Ronald McDonald House. In mid-October, a group of us went to the Ronald McDonald House in Atlanta, and it is always such an eye-opening experience. The house is a shelter for the families of ill children to live in during their time in treatment at a nearby hospital. We made breakfast for the families, which consisted of pancakes, eggs, sausage, fruit, hash browns, juice and milk. It was amazing to see how grateful each person that came through that line was. It made us think that if they can smile through this hard time, then we should too. Even the smallest things, such as breakfast, can brighten

Alpha Mu takes in a Red Sox game. Alpha Mu was extremely active with service events around Boston, including many of our favorites — Boston Health Care for the Homeless and Community Servings. We also planned events for Red Ribbon Week and the OPhiA Serve-a-Thon. Of 57 active sisters, almost all have completed 20 hours of service and several over 30 hours. Our sisters loved spending time together during service but also enjoyed some fun sisterhood events, including a trip to Salem, MA around Halloween, and to a performance of The Nutcracker by the Boston Ballet. In addition to weekly service projects, we planned exciting larger projects to finish off the semester. We will be hosting an event “Hour of Code” as part of Computer Science Education Week in support of our initiative of empowering women in STEM. We are also working on a drive for the McLean Hospital, a project to thank the staff of our university community, and raising awareness of World AIDS Day. Lastly, we’re busy planning our Spring Recruitment; the theme is OPhiA in Wonderland! Our sisters are excited to continue doing service throughout the holiday season.

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omega phi alpha national serviCe sorority National Office PO Box 955 East Lyme, CT 06333 RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED


- Proposed National Constitutional legislation due for review, - Submit Chapter Officer List, - Submit names and contact info of sisters who will be entering alumnae status after current school term to Young Alumnae Leader, Feb 10–15 - National Membership Week Feb 15 - Chevron Deadline # 3 for Spring 2014 issue, Feb 15 - National Constitution Amendments due, Feb 15 - President’s Council Report due, Feb 15 - Alumna Petitions/First semester LOA petitions due, Mar 1 - Scholarship Applications due, Mar 1 - President’s Council Report due, Mar 15 - Convention Registration begins Mar 15 - National Constitution revisions distributed Mar 15 - Pledge Roster from each chapter due, Mar 15 - Membership Status Report Form and updated active addresses, Apr 1 - Active and pledge fees due (send dues transmittal form and money), Apr 15 - President’s Council Report due,

(To add your events and activities, please email them to with “Chevron Calendar” in the subject. Issue 3 (Spring Issue) for 2013-2014 will identify events for April-July 2014.

Profile for Omega Phi Alpha National Service Sorority

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